When Phuong, an officer of saigonchildren’s Child Development Scholarship Program, visited Hoa, she arrived at a home that has been through a great deal of hardship. Only two weeks prior to Phuong’s visit, Hoa’s mother passed away due to chronic bronchitis. In addition to this deep personal loss, Hoa’s father has a mental illness that prevents him from working. Some days, he is able to help around the house by feeding the cows or cutting the banana trees. However, on bad days, he can be found wandering aimlessly around the community.
Hoa is the second born of three children, all girls. The youngest, Dao, is in the 5th grade, and Hoa is in the 9th grade. Phuoc, the oldest child, used to be a benecifiary of the saigonchildren scholarship. However, after her mother’s illness worsened, Phuoc had to quit school to work and become the primary caregiver in the family. After their mother passed away, Hoa and her sisters depend on one another while also taking care of their sick father. They also have to work to pay back the money loaned to them for their mother’s funeral. Hardship after hardship, these three sisters endure by sticking together to support one another.
Every day, Hoa helps Phuoc peel cashews to earn money for their family.
The sisters can only afford to eat white rice for their meals. When they’re lucky, a neighbor might occasionally give them some vegetables to eat with their rice. The family lives together in a small, shabby home built of bare bricks and metal roof that leaks during storms. Inside the home, there is only a small cooking nook with a wood burner. With the new rainy season quickly approaching, the sisters are becoming increasingly worried about their living conditions.
Although the young girls try to stay positive, they cannot hide their fear. During Phuong’s visit the girls expressed their concerns. Phuong described the visit and stated, “After witnessing their unfortunate circumstances, I could not fight back the tears.” Phuong carefully listened to their story and shared information about saigonchildren’s scholarship program to encourage the girls and give them hope for their future.
Currently, Phuoc has moved to Saigon to find a job. Hoa is now responsible for caring for their father and Dao all on her own.
After her visit in April 2017, Phuong recommended Hoa to be a saigonchildren scholarship recipient. In October 2017, the offer was also extended to Dao. Saigonchildren believes that the support we are giving to Hoa and Dao will be a part of the effort to pull the family out of poverty. With less of a financial burden, Phuoc will be able to focus on taking care of their father and Hoa and Dao can focus on their studies and preparing for the future.
Saigonchildren would love your help in changing the lives of Vietnamese youth like these sisters. Please join us in becoming a helping hand to open the doors to new opportunities for underprivileged youth.
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See more Child Development Scholarship Program here